Posted by: Vallere | April 1, 2011

Friday’s Flipside Five – Words and Phrases

Welcome back for Volume 3 of Friday’s Flipside Five! Today, class, we’ll be learning some new words and phrases! There’s no possible way I could have narrowed this down to just five, so I’ve got five categories with 5 words each, and then 5 phrases. That works, right?

Here we go!

1) Foods

Biscuit – If someone in NZ says biscuit, they don’t mean those delicious, fluffy, staple-of-every-Southern-meal that all North Carolinians know and love. They mean a cookie. If you are talking to a small child, you might say “bickie” instead.

Candyfloss – Cotton Candy

T-sauceThey say this means ketchup. I don’t think tomato sauce tastes anything like ketchup. To me, tomato sauce is much sweeter. But, it is still the topping of choice on “chips” and “sausies”.

Cuppa – Cuppa tea, cuppa coffee, cuppa drinking chocolate…

Greasies – Slang term for fish and chips. Greasies = yum! And, speaking of which, here was our dinner tonight! Straight from George’s Fish Market, home of the best fish and chips in Wanganui!

2) Clothing

Jersey – A light sweater, ie, “Bring a jersey as it can get chilly in the bush.”

Jandals – Sandals, specifically flip-flops. In Australia, I understand they are called thongs. *snicker*

Braces – Suspenders.

Sunnies  – Sunglasses.

Togs – Swimsuit, ie, “Get your togs on and come to the beach!”

3) Around the house

Sticking plaster – Bandaids.

Cotton buds – Q-tips

Rubbish bin – Trash can, either an indoor one or an outdoor one. “Rubbish Day” for us is Wednesday, fortnightly (ie, every other Wednesday). Here’s our outdoor rubbish bin:

Chilly bin – Cooler. In Australia, an “eskie”, as in “Eskimo”. Watch this video of the All Blacks summer skills to see a reference to a chilly bin as well as a couple of other things on this list!

Flannel – Wash cloth.

4) On the road

Sealed – Paved, ie, “If you’re driving on River Road, you’ll hit sections where there’s no seal.”

Judder bars – Speed bump.

Car park – Parking lot. I think this can also refer to the parking area at your house, but I’m not 100% certain.

Bach – Pronounced “batch”, this refers to a holiday house or beach house, ie, “John has a bach out at Kai Iwi where he spends his weekends.”

Bonnet/boot – Bonnet = hood of the car, boot = trunk. The thought of someone saying, “Stick a boot in your boot,” makes me giggle!

5) Baby items

Dummy – Pacifier.

Nappy – Diaper…and can I just say how awesome it is that real, nice, one size pocket diapers are sold in the GROCERY STORES here??? *faint*

Pram – Stroller, but more of a “bassinet on wheels” sort of thing.

Push cart – A more modern stroller, like a jogging stroller.

Cot – crib.

And now on to the phrases!

1) She’ll be right!

This phrase might just sum up Kiwis as a whole. “She’ll be right” means “It’ll all work out, no worries” and that seems to be the way most people around these parts look at things. It just seems to be a pervading optimism…We heard this a lot when we first got here and were being asked about how we were settling in. “Well the driving on the left thing has us all confused…” “Aw, no worries…she’ll be right!”

2) On the dole…

Someone who is receiving welfare is said to be “on the dole.” Someone who is on the dole who isn’t even trying to find work and is enjoying living off the ratepayer’s (taxpayer’s) dime is a “dole bludger.”

3) Bring a plate.

This is something you see on invitations to dinner parties and church picnics. “Bring a plate” means bring something to share, usually some sort of finger-food. It does NOT mean to bring an empty plate to eat on. Trust me.

4) I’m stuffed!

Unlike in America, where being stuffed means you ate too much, in New Zealand, stuffed means tired. Now, I guess you could be stuffed because you are stuffed…but that’s a whole ‘nuther post!

5) Sweet as!

This is a phrase used to describe how awesome something is. Yes, it looks like an unfinished simile, but it is what it is. At some of the Dairys (corner stores), Tip Top ice cream (“the” Kiwi brand of ice cream…would be like Bryers in the US) often has signs that say “Tip Top…sweet as!” The phrase doesn’t always have to be “sweet” though…any word can be used. If something was described as “kiwi as,” that would mean it was something that was quintessentially Kiwi. Perhaps apple pie would be American as!

Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s FFF! It was fun to put together! I had to leave out a ton of words I would have loved to have included, but that just leaves me plenty of content for upcoming Fridays. As always, please leave comments and if there is anything in particular you are wondering about, just let me know!



  1. Hooray, someone who knows what I mean when I say fortnight! How are you doing with the culture shock? For countries that speak [mostly] the same language, there are so many differences.

    I am laughing so hard. Especially at bring a plate. Please tell me you didn’t do this, because I’d be mortified for you. And yeah, we call them thongs. For shame.

    I am so jealous of the fish’n’chips. Or should I say chups? Do they have pineapple fritters there (battered sliced pineapple, fried & coated in sugar)? Usually found at fish’n’chip shops. Best. thing. ever!

    • Oh Brook! That is so funny! No, I didn’t actually “bring a plate”…but I did (very meekly) ask someone what it meant when I saw it on the church buletin!

      And yes, I’ve been told that the quickest way to tell if someone is an Aussie or a Kiwi is to get them to say fish and chips. An Aussie will say Feesh an Cheeps, and a Kiwi will say Fush an Chups! SO true!

      I’m not sure about the pineapple fritters, but George’s has banana fritters, which is just a whole banana, battered and fried, with confectioners suger on it. Soooo yummy!

      • Banana fritters are pretty yummy, too!

  2. So all my years of British programing has really paid off there were only a few of those that I didn’t know………oh oh oh if you ever find out what a “Bacon Bottie” is let me know and I don’t know if I spelled that right it’s the only thing I’ve never quite figured out but I know that Onslow is always dying for one in Keeping Up Appearances LOL miss you girl


    • The magical power of Google has turned this up:
      It has finally occurred to me that someone here might have the answer to
      something that has been puzzling me for quite some time.

      I’m a fan of Britcoms, my favorite being “Keeping Up Appearances.” In
      it, Hyacinth’s brother-in-law Onslow often asks for a “bacon bottie.”

      What on earth is that????? /Quote

      “Not bottie, but buttie. It’s basically a hot sandwich. British bacon,
      unless one specifies “streaky bacon”, usually means back bacon, or
      sometimes middle bacon. The bacon is cooked and made into a sandwich
      while still hot. I prefer mine plain, though many people add sauce,
      either red (i.e., catsup) or brown.


  3. Hmm, I like dole bludger. May have to use that one.

  4. Those are great!

  5. Banana fritters…YUM! We used to buy them from a man with a little push cart out on the street in Indonesia. They are soooo good! 🙂

    I hope your kids come back saying these words (and with accents!)!

  6. Like


  7. My mom used to call flipflops thongs and she’s from Texas! I remember she did that until I was 15 or so. I was always rolling my eyes with a “Moooooommm!”

  8. My goodness, this was so much fun to read! SO many funny things!!!

  9. This is an awesome post! I love seeing posts like this where people compare the different words used, etc.

  10. OOoooooh I think this is my favorite post yet!! I love this! How fun! You’d think in today’s internet world, more things would be the same all around… then posts like this remind me that each region has their own deep-rooted goodies that are so fun for the rest of us to discover!!!

    Thanks for posting! You rock

  11. So fun! Jandals….or thongs…which ever your preference right? Can you imagine walking around in America saying, “Don’t you love my thongs?” LOL!!

  12. How much fun is this? I love this post! So funny to hear how different cultures refer to things. I’m totally stealing greasies. Hopefully that will make me want to stay away from stuff like that … haha …

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